I am looking for the best way to add hardware into hundreds of lighting fixture assemblies for my company. We organize our models in Top Level, Subassembly, and Part folders. Parts show up in multiple subassemblies and subassemblies are used in even more Top Level Assemblies (all of which have 5-8 configurations). Adding screws to a fixture in the Top Level Assemblies is very messy. Even using "copy with mates" feature placing screws everywhere they are needed, and managing which ones are suppressed or not between configurations is difficult, even using design tables. I have tried instead to go to the Part Level documents and configure every component which is attached using hardware as a Smart Component (or smart feature) so I can add hardware once, and the activate the feature in every Sub Assembly the component is used, and from there configure the Sub Assemblies as Smart Components as well and activate them in the Top Level. This is a ten times faster method however it is hard to manage smart features between configurations as they are not included in design tables. To suppress and un-suppress these fasteners where needed requires you to go into every config, expand the smart feature folder and manually update their state. I know this is a little longwinded but the problem is quite complex. Any suggestions would make my life much easier!
The only suggestion I have is in your top level assembly use patterns as much as possible. If you created the screw holes with hole wizard then adding the hardware is very simple: Just add the screw/washer/nut to one of the holes and then do a Pattern Driven Component Pattern (formerly known as Feature Driven Pattern) and that hardware is copied to all of the other holes.